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Down on the Farm: Crunch Clinch Trip To Calder Cup Playoffs

by Staff Writer / Columbus Blue Jackets
2005-06 RECORD: 43-21-4-2, 92 points

(24-7-2-1 home, 19-14-2-1 road), second place, North Division

Friday, Mar. 31 @ Rochester (32-35-2-2), 68 points, fifth place, East Division
Radio: SportsRadio 620 WHEN, Internet: B2 Networks (
Saturday, Apr. 1 vs. Rochester (32-35-2-2), 68 points, fifth place, East Division
Radio: SportsRadio 620 WHEN, Internet: B2 Networks (
*Radio station subject to change.

Friday, Mar. 24: CRUNCH 9, Binghamton 3
Saturday, Mar. 25: CRUNCH 3, Hamilton 2

CRUNCH CLINCH PLAYOFF SPOT: With a 3-2 win over Hamilton, Syracuse clinched a playoff spot for the eighth time in their 12 year history and fourth time during their affiliation with Columbus. Entering this week Syracuse is four points ahead of Manitoba for second place in the North Division. Each team has ten games remaining.

RW JOE MOTZKO NAMED CCM VECTOR/AHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK: The American Hockey League announced today that Syracuse Crunch right wing Joe Motzko has been named the CCM Vector/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Mar. 26, 2006.

In two contests last week, Motzko scored four goals and added an assist as the Crunch ran their winning streak to four games. On Friday night, Motzko recorded his second hat trick of the season and picked up an assist as Syracuse posted a 9-3 win over Binghamton. He was also a plus-4 on the game.

A night later, Motzko scored the game-winning goal with 1:53 left in regulation as the Crunch pulled out a 3-2 victory over Hamilton. In recognition of his achievement, Motzko will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Crunch home game.

Motzko, a third-year pro out of St. Cloud State University, now has 21 goals and 28 assists for 49 points in 51 games with Syracuse in 2005-06. The native of Bemidji, Minn., ranks third on the Crunch in goals and fifth in team scoring, and now has 66 goals and 90 assists for 156 points in 202 career AHL games, all with Syracuse. Motzko has also appeared in four career NHL games with Columbus, including two earlier this season.

CRUNCH SIGN RIGHT WING BRENT WALTON: The Syracuse Crunch announced today that they have signed right wing Brent Walton to an amateur try-out contract.

Walton, 22, appeared in 40 games with Western Michigan (Central Collegiate Hockey Association) registering 26 goals and 17 assists. A native of Elmira, Ontario, Walton has appeared in 154 career CCHA games, tallying 72 goals, 84 assists and 58 penalty minutes.

Syracuse plays a home-and-home series with Rochester this weekend on Friday, March 31 at Blue Cross Arena and Saturday, April 1 at the War Memorial at Oncenter for the ninth and tenth of twelve regular season games. The Crunch lead the series 6-2-0, after defeating the Amerks 6-5 on March 10 at the War Memorial at Oncenter. Defenseman Andy Delmore (3g, 7a) leads all Syracuse players in head-to-head scoring with 10 points. Center Jiri Novotny (4g, 6a) leads Rochester in head-to-head scoring with 10 points. Goaltender Martin Prusek has appeared in three games for Syracuse, posting a 2-1-0 record. Rochester goaltender Michael Leighton has posted a 1-6-0 record against Syracuse. Lifetime, the Crunch are 54-64-14 against the Amerks.

CRUNCHABLES: On Friday, Mar. 24, Syracuse set a franchise mark for home wins in a season, breaking the old record of 22 set in 2000-01… Defenseman Andy Delmore set the record for most assists in a season by a defenseman on Saturday night, passing Chris O’Sullivan’s record of 47 (1999-00). He is also one point shy of tying Chris O’Sullivan (1999-00) and Radim Bicanek (2000-02) for most points by a defenseman in a season (65)… In Syracuse’s 9-3 win over Binghamton on Friday night, the Crunch allowed 52 shots on net, the most this season… Right wing Joe Motzko tallied his second hat-trick of the season on Friday night vs. Binghamton.

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